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Seafood is any sea animal that is served as food or is suitable for eating. This usually includes sea water animals, such as fish and shellfish (including mollusks, and crustaceans). By extension, the term seafood is also applied to similar animals from fresh water. These aquatic animals are also collectively referred to as seafood.

Edible seaweeds are rarely considered seafood, even though they come from sea water and are widely eaten around the world. See Category:Sea vegetables.

The harvesting of seafood is known as fishing and the cultivation of seafood is known as aquaculture or mariculture. Also see fish farming.

According to traditional Jewish food regulations, seafood falls into the category of ritually unclean and therefore does not appear in the kosher menu.


From the earliest age of human civilization, seafood has been an important food source that can easily be hunted and gathered even by those lacking power or speed. Basket-like traps have long been widely used to hunt fish in rivers and lakes. Sometimes, fish was speared just as one would hunt a small animal. Ancient Egyptian civilization used the symbol of fish for counting large numbers and it was eaten both dried and fresh. It is looked over too often but the rise of ancient Greek and Roman civilization was in no small part due to the abundant fish of the Mediterranean Sea. Shellfish was a staple food in many locations and in the Jomon period of Japan; the amount of shellfish consumed and thrown away from that time is used to measure how many people lived in certain area.


Seafood is a source of protein in many diets around the world.

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